Today is a recap of our BAMFs Aloud session with Alexis Bass! You can view the video below where we interview her about her novels, LOVE & OTHER THEORIES and WHAT’S BROKEN BETWEEN US. Underneath that, we review WHAT’S BROKEN BETWEEN US to give you a bit of insight into what we thought of Bass’s work and why we asked her to be a part of the show!
Published by HarperCollins on December 29th 2015
Amazon ♡ Chapters ♡ TBD
Alexis Bass’s heartbreakingly beautiful second novel is a tale of love, loss, and learning to forgive, perfect for fans of Gayle Forman and of Robyn Schneider's The Beginning of Everything.
A year and a half ago, Amanda Tart's brother got behind the wheel drunk and killed his best friend. Today, he's coming home from prison.
Amanda's been the one living with the fallout, made worse by her brother's recent unapologetic TV interview. People think he's a monster. Still, she loves him. It's her dark secret, until she starts getting close to Henry again--whose sister is paralyzed from the accident.
A year and a half ago, her brother destroyed his life. Now Amanda has to decide if she'll let his choice destroy hers.
I don’t usually read heavy contemporaries. Usually, you’ll find me devouring fantasies and dystopians, but buffering them with light, easy contemporaries with Happily Ever Afters. But I gave What’s Broken Between Us a go, as Alexis was joining Jamie and me for our first BAMFs Aloud author interview. I’ll admit I might not have picked it up otherwise because UGH HEAVY. But I am so glad I did.
This book was basically PAIN. It’s real, with honestly flawed, realistic characters. The parents aren’t perfect. The secondary characters aren’t perfect. The main characters – Amanda, Henry, Jonathan – are definitely not perfect. They make mistakes, and they keep making the same mistakes because, let’s be frank here, humans don’t magically learn their lesson after one screw up. We keep falling into the same patterns because that’s just who we are.
Two things dropped my score. First, I only give 5 stars to books that I would read again, and I wouldn’t read this again because it was so painful, and it was triggering for me with the cheating. The other reason is that Henry was supposed to be British, but I didn’t feel like any actual British mannerisms came out. There were certain misused stereotypes thrown in here and there just so he could be labelled as British, but they were…not quite right.
This book is not a Happily Ever After book. I finished it in tears, but it was worth it, and I think that more people should give What’s Broken Between Us a chance. You may not come out happy with the characters, but if you stop expecting them to be superhuman, you might find yourself enjoying having your heart broken.
I really enjoyed this novel! I thought it really made me think about how I would react to this type of situation in each of the character’s shoes. I really felt for Amanda in everything she had to deal with and I completely understood all the decisions she made along the way. I definitely think this was an emotional and difficult read because of the topics that it dealt with, but it was such a great contemporary novel.
I thought this one started off really well. I liked seeing how Jonathan viewed himself and the idea of who was responsible for the accident. I think one of the best parts of this entire novel was that he really blamed himself for everything that happened. He made a bad decision and didn’t try to pass the blame onto something or someone else. It was his fault in his mind and I really liked that. I think too often we see characters do something terrible and say, “well it wasn’t completely my fault because this happened before!” and I’m not okay with that. Is Jonathan still a bad dude? Yes, absolutely. He killed someone and he doesn’t really try to do anything to make things better for himself, his family, or the people who are grieving. But I think he is heading in the right direction by admitting his guilt.
I really liked Henry and Amanda together. I was really upset that their relationship started View Spoiler »the second time « Hide Spoiler with cheating, though, and that’s why I took off 0.5 stars. The first kiss that they shared was understandable: heat of the moment and all that jazz, but View Spoiler »the next time? Nope, sorry, there was no reason for it « Hide Spoiler. It didn’t impact how I viewed them though, since they both owned up to it pretty quickly, but I was still put off by it while reading.
I loved Amanda and Dawn’s relationship. It was pretty akin to how Dani and I interact (although we are much better at communicating and we don’t even live in the same continent. These girls needed to set aside some time to Skype) so it was nice to see how long distance friendships work in this one! I liked that Dawn wasn’t really a sounding board for Amanda — she was doing her own things and living her own life, but was still there to support Amanda in her life and decisions. I think they had a really great relationship and I would love a companion from Dawn’s point of view.
There was literally so much I liked about this one, but I don’t want to say too much more because it feels like spoiler territory. Just know that I highly recommend this one if you are looking for a darker contemporary that has lightness throughout it. Amanda was a great character and had such complex feelings and emotions about both her brother, how she felt about the accident, and how she interacted with the rest of the world. I really enjoyed this one!
We both really loved this one. We were completely heartbroken after we finished reading it and thought that it was really rude of Alexis to make us cry. These characters aren’t likeable but they are real and to be honest, we probably aren’t all that likeable either. This is a story of bad things happening to (relatively) good people and learning how to be yourself. Which is pretty important if you ask us (and you did, so).